15 Strict Rules for Figure Skating
The actual rules and guidelines of competitive figure skating which has been around for over 100 years are complicated enough to make your head spin but there are a few rules even unspoken.
Ones that are surprisingly strict and also bizarre skirts are bodysuits only the outfits that figure skaters wear plays such a big part in their overall performance. It is crazy enough before 2003 all-female skaters had to wear a skirt in competition or else points would be deducted by the judges. Yet the International Skating Union or ISU rule was changed to promote gender equality as of 2019.
Still, if these ice Queens decided to forego the skirt they have to wear a full-body suit typically spandex decked in rhinestones which are even considered to be a pretty bold move
overall a leotard only approach is not allowed.
- Random tests
There have been some instances where performance-enhancing substances have been used albeit rarely.
These female athletes are subject to random tests in and out of season unlike the men they also have to be careful which types of birth control they take as some of them can pop
On certain tests still, the ISU has very strict and also very random tests during competition season as well for an event like figure skating however substances are very unlikely to improve performance.
Figure skating takes years of training that no substance can truly recreate. Figure skaters are still routinely tested for banned substances but to date only.
Two Russian skaters Elena brutish Niya in 2002 and Yuri Larionov in 2012 have tested positive this can result in a suspension from the sport altogether lasting anywhere from a few months to several years.
Most figure skaters know that it’s just not worth it and it doesn’t work anyway.
- Modest costumes
According to the ISU committee, all costumes must be modest dignified and appropriate for athletic competition not garish or theatrical in design.
As long as the clothing reflects the character of the music chosen then the skater is in the clear. According to former American figure skater and MBC commentator Johnny Weir, there has to be a visible connection of costume between the top and bottom for women.
That means no two-piece outfits. They can skirt these rules a little by incorporating flesh-coloured mesh panels into their costumes and sometimes add in a small strip of fabric to ensure that the judges don’t take away points. Also, the skin tone spandex holds up to the is
use modesty rule.
Katerina Wits infamous blue outfit at the 1988 Olympics is the reason Figure Skating now has this dress code which says a skirt covering hips and posterior was required for ladies
If the judges deem the custom to be too distracting too sexy or too garish deductions will be made.
As fuel figure skaters don’t really have the luxury of eating anything they can get their hands on they have to eat food that will keep them energized enough for the gruelling training schedules they face. Ashley Wagner says she generally sticks to grilled chicken breast wild
rice and veggies while marina gasps ooh is a fan of celery juice but also loves carbs.
While these skaters definitely have to view food as fuel just like any athlete the pressure to be a certain size is unfortunately all too common in this sport.
Body image issues are nothing new in the world of figure skating. Olympic skater Gracie gold made headlines when she revealed she would not compete in the 2018 Winter Olympics
because she was in treatment for depression anxiety and an eating disorder like she felt embarrassed to exist for a little bit Gracie now feeling better understands that even though skating is a lightweight sport a lean body looks different on everyone.
- Gruelling training hours
To become one of the best figure skaters in the world takes a lot and we mean a lot of work.
Figure skaters with Olympic dreams need to practice every day for at least three to four hours. Many professionals started off at extremely young ages. Skating champion Sasha cohen began skating at the age of seven but some younger stars of 2019 such as Alexandra true Silva began at the age of four.
Many professionals of today say it’s better to start at an early age and also early in the morning.
professional figure skaters like Elena’s Aggie Tova get up as early as 4:30 a.m. to start their training. Skaters will incorporate stretching workouts like yoga and Pilates weight training and jogging into their workouts ballet and off-ice conditioning and training are also recommended oh and then they skate on the ice for 4 hours.
- the Lipinski rule
Some of these figure skating champions seem mature and wise beyond their years but you might be surprised to learn how young a lot of them are a 15-year-old Tara Lipinski destroyed her competition at the 1998 Winter Olympics grabbing a gold medal in the process she was then the youngest woman ever to win the competition. Of course, which led to a brief rule change in the sport the ISU has since instituted a provision that competitors must have reached their 15th birthday by July 1st of the year before the competition.
- A limited number of jumps
In professional competitive figure skating women only get to perform 7 aerials and not all of them are by choice. The ISU only recognizes six separate types of jumps in competition the toe loop, the salchow, the loop, the flip, the lutz, and the axel.
In the women’s short program out of the seven jumps, one has to be an axle type one of them has to be a triple which can be combined with the axel and there has to be at least one jumping sequence.
Basically you can’t be too impressed with too many jumps in order to maintain fair competition but you also can’t be short on any of your jumps.
- Wardrobe malfunctions
Wardrobe malfunctions can happen to anyone but for figure skaters, it may not only be embarrassing or distracting it could seriously affect their score if any part of this skaters costume hits the ice. They will lose points not only is it the fabric that these ladies are worried about but if any sequins bead glitter or straps touch the ground points are knocked off automatically.
For this reason, they tend to stay away from feathers or fringe. Each outfit is precisely handcrafted by professionals using everything from special sewing techniques to the best superglue on the market.
Heavy-duty elastic is used at the leg hole openings and some skaters sew them on top of they’re tight so they are guaranteed to stay in place. Some skaters want to avoid al functions by using hairspray around the edges of their costumes. If you spray the back of your legs it makes it a little tackier so it doesn’t move as much.
- No backflips
The backflip was the first band in 1976 after American skater Terry Kubecka landed the manoeuvre and it was considered too showbiz for the elegant skating community but French figure skater Surya bonnily popularized the move once again during the 1998 Olympic games even though it was totally illegal oh and did we mention she landed it on one leg.
As the story goes she was coming to the end of her career saw herself in the middle of the pack and decided to entertain the crowd and have a little fun herself.
As you can see she nailed the flip got a deduction from the judges but became a legend in the
process. For the sake of the safety, of course, the move is forever banned but for Surya, it became her signature move.
- Timing is everything
With figure skating every single second or millisecond counts according to the is use list of
reductions and deductions for every five-second lacking or in access, a skater gets deducted one point yep that means even if they take little breather points will be deducted for reference. If a skater touches the ice they are also deducted one point there for taking a little too long or not stretching out your routine for five measly seconds is the same penalty as falling.
Professional figure skaters performances should be seamless.
- Themed music
The 2018 Winter Olympics were the first to feature the International Skating union’s new rules for the first time skaters were allowed music that featured lyrics and words. The themed parts of their skates must be performed to a predetermined type of music at Pyeongchang the musical genre was Latin American and that involves a predetermined acceptable tempo.
If the music the skaters choose is of the wrong tempo has too many or too few beats per minute or their skating style doesn’t match up to it they’re in trouble.
- Only three spins allowed
It seems like professional figure skaters. It’s been so fast they’re going to fly away like a sky dancer apparently the ISU restricts how many spins their program can have but maybe it’s just to keep us all from getting dizzy a maximum of three spins are allowed
one of which must be a spin combination
one a flying spin or a spin with a flying entrance and
one a spin with only one position
The trickiest spin that female figure skaters attempt known as the booming spin trademarked in 1995 by denis Spielman is also known to lead to some wardrobe malfunctions so while they’re spinning at the speed of light they also have to worry about staying covered up.
- No laying down on the ice.
This one feels like it should be somewhat of a no-brainer but apparently due to some dramatic performances. In the past, they had to make a rule against lying down on the ice and competitive figure skating laying down or prolonged crouching down on the ice is strictly prohibited.
This is a dramatic move seen only in show skating and in professional competitions, it will result in point deductions but sometimes don’t you think these athletes might just want to cool down their muscles after performing those crazy jumps.
- No props
Another element that may be fun and show skating but is considered extremely dangerous and competitive figure skating is the use of props fans flags and even extra editions of fabric to their costumes are all strictly prohibited. Skaters performing routines are expected to succeed or fail based on their individuality and skillset and nothing extra or flashy that kind of stuff is reserved for.
Entertainment type skating shows even though we’d all love to see a little extra flair.
- They have to take tests
As if all of the training for figure skating isn’t hard enough there are actual tests you have to pass in order to get to the next level of figure skating at each level. There are different classes of tests that all competitive skaters must pass to participate in qualifying competitions.
The intensity and required proficiency increase with each testing level. Professional competitors usually start at the pre-preliminary level and go all the way up to the senior level as a skater.
You have to be at certain levels in order to participate in specific training sessions there are jump tests, spend tests, move tests, and dance tests and each one of these tests is done in front of judges. No pressure, and if you can’t pass you have to retake it until you do but what do you think about the rules set for female figure skaters.
Do you think these rules are fair? or is this competitive sport just a little too competitive let us know in the comment section.